tags: microwave science, humor, streaming video
This week’s science experiment while drunk asks what happens when you light a match, place a glass over it, and then microwave it? [1:03]
So, what’s going on in the glass?
Disclaimer: I’ve never tried this myself, so my comments are based on the presumption that the video accurately reports the experiment.
I would guess that smoke has a much higher absorption of microwaves than air, causing a positive feedback cascade of combustion.
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It looks authentic.
It isn’t the smoke, it is the flame. A flame is electrically conductive due to the ions in it, so it absorbs microwaves and gets hotter. A microwave oven puts out a kW or so, which is a lot of power to attempt to confine to a glass.
This can be damaging to the microwave. What can happen is that non-linearities in the discharge produce higher harmonics which get reflected back into the microwave tube and amplified. The tube can then overheat or even break. When you get discharges, you have inherently nonlinear phenomena. You can get reflections which essentially double the electric field. If the air breaks down around the microwave tube, it could easily damage it.
Well, I wouldn’t try it at home, but I do think that’s pretty kick-ass. I just hope that microwave doesn’t belong to their landlord. Or one of their mothers.
…and in next week’s lesson we’ll ask why the hell that was done for the first time.
I wouldn’t trust the shielding on the microwave much after that, either.
But then, would chromosome damage in that lot show up?
After that, I would imagine that the feeling would be mutual.
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